Wedding Church

Let's talk about choosing a wedding church. H and I are both Catholics so we wed in a church. Choosing a church is not easy at all. First of all, this is in the top of the list once you start preparing for the wedding.

We started preparing for our wedding September 2008. (We got married October 2009) And the first thing we discussed was churches. We thought of the criteria and factors we should consider and here are some of the key points I can still remember.

  • The church must have an airconditioning unit, in case we'd need to rent it. We both sweat easily and since H will be wearing a suit, it was important that it's not too warm so he doesn't sweat too much
  • The church must not be too expensive. Maximum time you'd be staying at the church is 2 hours including pictorial? So we don't see the point of paying P30,000 or P40,000 for it.
  • Time should be good. We both didn't want a morning wedding. I honestly didn't want to wake up in the wee hours to prep because I knew I wouldn't look beautiful. Plus we don't want our guests to get mad if they need to prepare early too. We wanted an afternoon wedding and evening reception.
  • The church must be sandwiched by our territories. I was a Makati resident and H from Antipolo. So we were able to narrow down the churches to either Makati or Pasig area.
  • I wanted a not-so-long-not-so-short aisle for our march. I will only walk down the aisle once in my life and I want to remember it the rest of my life.
So with these factors, we were able to narrow down the list to a handful. We went to see each church, get a good feel and have a peek of the facilities. Actually my first choice was already booked! Imagine it was a year and a half before our wedding but the church was still booked. And so was our second choice. Tsk tsk. Then we came across another church which we liked with when we saw. It wasn't in Makati nor was it in Pasig, but it was in Greenhills (quite near Pasig, so it was okay).

The church was Santuario de San Jose (Greenhills East, San Juan).

Here is a photo of the interior:

We chose to use the aircon even though it wasn't hot. We didn't want to risk it. We wanted to make sure that it'd be perfect or as perfect as we can plan it to be. There was also an option to have tulle and upgrade of flowers. I didn't get that anymore. We thought that it wouldn't really matter because it was just decor. We felt that during the ceremony, the guests would be looking at us and not the decor. Plus the church was already beautiful as it is.

A side story: When we booked the church, the door was glass doors and not the one shown in the photo above (wooden doors). That was actually my only problem/issue. I wanted the whole dramatic effect, people couldn't see you until the doors open. For the glass doors, of course they'd already get a peek of you outside or your shadow at least. We were offered curtains to cover the doors for the drama. Luckily, a few months before my wedding, they changed the glass doors to wooden doors. So happy that we didn't get the curtains anymore. We were able to save P1,000 and still get the drama I wanted.

The church wasn't as big as cathedrals but it was good enough space for an intimate celebration. The church wasn't filled with people for our wedding. But I was so happy to see our guests finish the ceremony with us.

The officiating priest we chose was the priest who interviewed us for the "canonical interview", a requirement by the church. We felt that at least we were able to talk to him and meet him before the wedding. You also have an option to get a priest from outside and invite him to officiate your wedding.

For the choir, the package we got already includes a soloist and pianist, but we opted not to get this, instead hired a quartet for the ceremony and reception. I wanted the whole wedding to be romantic, and strings always set that mood.

A lot of our guests told us that the church was beautiful and it really set the mood of romance. We weren't very particular about the antique feel, as long as it was elegant and simple. Plus another great thing about the church is it's so easy to talk to the church staff. It's so important that the staff are friendly and accommodating, because we went back and forth for our church requirements. So that's another positive point for SSJ.

Packages of SSJ: (This was during our time. I'm not sure if they already changed the package prices.)
P18,000 - no aircon
P25,000 - with aircon
*includes pianist and soloist, simple flower arrangement, officiating priest